Austrian director Michael Haneke has refused to head the main jury in the MoscowInternational Film Festival (June 23-July 2), the festival's general director Renat Davletyarov announced atthe first festival press conference on Wednesday.

Haneke'swithdrawal came despite earlier written confirmation that he would serve as themain jury president and the festival's formation of the jury as per Haneke's recommendations. Haneke saidhis reason for not attending was that he was too busy working on his latest film,an English-language remake of his own 1997 film Funny Games.

Davletyarovsaid that Haneke's refusal has sparked the ire of thefestival management, who sent Haneke an open letterprotesting the decision. He then proceeded to read from the open letter, whichaccused Haneke of disrespect towards Russiaand the festival's international participants.

"Themanagement of the Moscow International Film Festival is deeply disappointed bythis turn of events and can see no reasonable justification for your dishonestact,"the letter reads.

Festival press materialsdistributed at the press conference listed Russian director and Moscow GoldenSt. George laureate Alexei Uchitel as the new mainjury president. Nevertheless, Davletyarov said that anew main jury president would be announced "three or four daysbefore" the festival opening.

The rest of the jury includes actors Julie Christie and Remy Girard, Polish director Andrzej Zulawski and Frenchcritic and producer Pierre-Henri Deleau.

The festival's line-up follows.


ThePromise (Wu Ji),directedby Chen Kaige


Volver, directed byPedro Almodovar


Mas que a nada en el mundo, directed byAndreas Leon Becker and Xavier Solar Cortes (Mexico)

Kubrador, directed by JeffreyJeturian (Philippines)

Comme tout le monde, directed byPierre-Paul Penders (Belgium-Canada-France-GermanyLuxembourg)

Klimt, directed by Raul Ruiz (Austria-France-Germany-U.K.)

ThoseWho Never Lived (Kto nigdy niezyl), directed by Andrzej Seweryn (Poland)

Iceand Flame (La fiammasul ghiaccio), directed byUmberto Marino and Daciano Marcello (Italy)

AboutSara (Om Sara), directed by KarimOthman (Sweden)

Half-RussianStory (Sipurhatzi-russi), directed by Eitan Anner (Israel)

Agrypnia, directed by Nikos Grammatikos (Greece)

Rokonok, directed by Istvan Szabo (Hungary)

Semishegure, directed by Mitsuo Kurotsuchi (Japan)

Combien tu m'aimes', directed by Bertrand Blier(France)

Snivaj zlato moje, directed by Neven Hitrec (Croatia)

AskThe Dust, directed byRobert Towne (US)

Der Liebenversicherer, directed by Bulent Akinci (Germany)

DrivingLessons, directed by Jeremy Brock (UK)

TheWorm (Cherv), directed byAlexei Muradov (Russia)


Franz+ Polina, directed byMikhail Segal (Russia)

Restart, directed by Julius Sevcik (Czech Republic - Finland)

Aurore, directed by Nils Tavernier (France)

TheBicycle (La bicicleta), directed bySiegfried Monleon (Spain)

Nimm dir dein leben, directed by Sabine Michel (Germany)

Geo-Lobotomy, directed by Kim Guk and KimSun (South Korea)

Kotsch, directed byHelmut Kepping (Austria)

Mayak, directed by MariaSaakian (Russia)

ModernLove, directed by Alex Frein (Australia)

TheSource (Chashma), directed by Yolkin Tuichiyev (Uzbekistan)

It'sMe (Teraz Ja), directed by Anna Jadowska (Poland)